My wife and I have enjoyed skiing at Stevens for the past 10 years. Today we took our two young children there and hired the Stevens Pass Ski School to provide them with their first lessons in skiing. When we returned to the ski school area close to the end of the morning lesson, we observed the adult male instructor who was assigned to teach my 4-year old son to ski, acting very frustrated and animated because my son was not able to ski downhill and was having difficulty staying upright on his feet. As we watched from a distance, I saw this ski instructor become more animated towards my son, and finally jab his ski poles into the snow and lift my son up in a rough manner from under his arms and drop him onto his skis. My wife noticed that my son appeared to be crying. I intervened at that point, skied to where my son was, separated him from the instructor, and ended his involvement in the lesson.
As we walked back to the ski school building to return my son's rental skis, we were approached by another skier who said she had witnessed what had happened. She said she had formerly worked as a ski instructor at Stevens Pass and was disturbed by the conduct of this instructor towards my son and also the other young boy in the class. She told us she had heard the instructor talking in a very condescending manner to the two 4-year olds in his class, and she was considering reporting this to the ski school management. My wife and I had not been close enough to hear any of the ski instructor's words. There were a couple of other parents nearby, and we asked them if they had heard this ski instructor say anything unkind or act inappropriately, and the other parents concurred that this ski instructor had been acting like a jerk to the two little kids.
I waited outside with my kids while my wife went inside the ski school to speak with the manager of the ski school. The woman who claimed to be the manager was rude and entirely dismissive of our complaints. This woman who claimed to be the person in charge of the ski school refused to refer us to her immediate supervisor.
Then, incredulously, while my wife was engaging in a useless discussion with the "person in charge" of the ski school, the jerk of a ski instructor who had been hired to teach my son to ski approached my wife and confronted her and asked in a hostile manner "Do you have anything to say to me?".
Well, yes, we have a few things to say:
1) To the instructor: You have no business teaching young children anything. Do everyone a favor and get a new job. Good luck finding another employer who will tolerate your attitude.
2) To Stevens Pass Ski Resort: you clearly have problems in your ski school. You cannot blame this incident entirely on the instructor. There is clearly an management vacuum. The only reason the ski instructor acted as he did towards my son and my wife is because he knew that he could get away with it. There is no management of this ski school. It is had to believe that a retail service business such as this can stay solvent for long when they treat loyal long time customers (or any customer) in this way,
I hope the Stevens Pass management read this review and take it to heart. The lift operators and other employees of Stevens Pass have also been very courteous to myself and my family. But, after our experience today, I will be taking my family elsewhere to ski.